Ketamine 'shows promise' in treatment of depression, study claims

Postado Abril 16, 2018

A small study from March this year tested repeated doses of ketamine through a nasal spray on 10 participants with severe depression.

Ketamine is an anesthetic used on animals as well as human beings in the event of a relevant medical procedure.

A novel nasal spray of ketamine - often misused as a party drug - can rapidly treat symptoms of major depression, and suicidal thoughts, a study has found. They said it could be an important treatment to bridge the gap that exists because of the delayed effect of most common antidepressants, which can take four to six weeks to become fully effective.

The double-blind study compared the standard treatment plus an intranasal formulation of esketamine, part of the ketamine molecule, to standard treatment plus a placebo for rapid treatment of symptoms of major depression, including suicidality, among individuals at imminent suicide risk. At 25 days, the effects of the ketamine spray had stabilized, being no more effective than the placebo treatment. The results of the study support nasal spray esketamine as a possible effective rapid treatment for depressive symptoms in patients assessed to be at imminent risk for suicide, researchers said.

The researchers measured a patient's score depending on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, a psychological rating scale to measure the severity of depression symptoms as well as the Suicide Ideation and Behavior Assessment Tool. The findings leveled for both groups after 24 hours and at 25 days of undergoing Ketamine treatment.

Recorded side effects include dizziness, dissociation, unpleasant taste, and headache. They see it as depression treatment that can be applied intravenously. Further research is needed before the drug can be approved for use in the US. "Such steps initiated early in the development of ketamine and other drugs whose therapeutic potential is complicated by the potential for abuse would not be meant to deny therapeutic help to patients with significant need", Freedman and colleagues wrote. "Protection of the public's health is part of our responsibility as well, and as physicians, we are responsible for preventing new drug epidemics", AJP editor Robert Freedman, M.D. said in a press release published via the American Psychiatric Association. It was patented in 1968 and was used as a battlefield anesthetic by USA soldiers during the Vietnam War.

New use for ketamine has been discovered after breakthrough study.

Ketamine gained its negative reputation when it became a popular street drug that offers a trancelike, hallucinatory high effect. The user is nearly fully sedated and described as having an out-of-body or a near-death experience. Sedation through Ketamine is referred by recreational drug users as K-hole.